GMT -5 hours
A charming island of palm-fringed beaches and colonial-style architecture
Aruba – an exotic paradise located deep in the southern Caribbean Sea. Even though the island is just 20 miles long, it offers so much – from secluded beaches, natural rock formations and coral-encrusted shipwrecks to chic resorts, adventure sports and glitzy casinos. The pristine beaches and year-round sunshine make Aruba a popular destination for both families and honeymooners.
- You'll find the finest beaches on the south and west coasts – powder soft sands and calm waters
- Head to the east for the rugged Windward coast with its limestone coves and desert scenery
- Head to Ariok National Park for hiking trails to witness abandoned gold mines, ruins and ancient paintings and fossils
- Below the hurricane belt in the Southern Caribbean, Aruba benefits from year-round sunshine
- Stroll around Oranjestad to take in the unmistakingly Dutch colourful colonial buildings
Best time to visit
Aruba is warm all year, with an average temperature of 24-29°C.
A land of perpetual sunshine and a melting pot of cultures, Aruba is an exotic paradise located deep in the southern Caribbean Sea. Along with the Netherlands, Sint Maartin and the fellow ‘ABC Island’ of Curaçao, the island of Aruba is a member of the Kingdom of the Netherland; resplendent in Dutch colonial architecture and tradition. Playing host to over 90 different nationalities, the island also boasts an incredible mishmash of cultures, including a strong link with the indigenous Arawak culture that is unlike anywhere in the Caribbean.
The average Aruban beach can quite rightly be described as heavenly, featuring wide talcum-white bays which are lapped by cerulean seas and backed by both intimate and stylish resorts and inclusive properties offering myriad family-friendly activities. The sheltered south and west coasts are home to the island’s finest beaches and calmest, most inviting waters perfect for swimming. To the south is Eagle Beach, Palm Beach’s more relaxed neighbour, home to the Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts Aruba and the Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa.
The capital of Oranjestad is undoubtedly Dutch. Named after the Netherlands’ first king and the first heir to the House of Orange, William of Orange-Nassau, the city features colourful colonial buildings covered in intricate carved wooden detail and traditional Dutch tiles. The local’s legendary hospitality pervades through the streets of the town, providing a tempting example of what is to come on an escape to Aruba. Chic bars, cafes and duty free shops can be found in the town's malls, on the marketplaces and plazas, and overlooking the charming marina.
The incredible 7,907 acre Arikok National Park which encompasses almost 20% of the entire island showcases diverse geological landscapes, provides a sanctuary for native flora and fauna, and affords a glimpse into Aruba’s rich past. Follow hiking trails to witness abandoned gold mines, plantation house ruins, ancient Arawak paintings and fossils. Discover an island desert strewn with cacti and divi-divi trees before exploring the shadowy caves beneath your feet. If all this sightseeing under Caribbean rays leaves you a little hot and bothered, then there is the refreshing Natural Pool where you can take a refreshing dip before returning to your beachside resort.
Recommended Aruba Hotels
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7 nights, Room & Breakfast, 19 Nov '15
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